Of the world's leading mobile phone manufacturers, possibly none has taken a more twisted path to smartphone ubiquity than Sony Ericsson.
That said, the Xperia X10 is possibly the most promising of Sony Ericsson's confusing crop of modern smartphones, combining eye-catching hardware with killer specs, Android, and a fascinating custom skin.
In terms of exterior, we think the X10 is pretty polarizing. Around back, the X10's battery cover is made of a charming, high-quality soft touch material. It feels nice, and the gentle sloping curves make sure it's comfy to hold. The phone clocks in at 13mm thick, not the thinnest on the market (the HD2 is a surprising 11mm, for example) but slim enough to look and feel.
Around the sides, you find all the buttons and connectors you be expecting, including power and both micro-USB and 3.5mm headphone jacks at the top, volume and two-stage camera controls on the right, and the classic menu, home, and back buttons below the screen up front. There's no sign of a dock connector anywhere on the phone.
Remarkably absent is a dedicated search button, which might leave some existing Android owners upgrading to the X10 feeling like a fish out of water.
What about the camera? At 8.1 megapixels, the X10 represents just about the highest-resolution camera you can discover on an Android phone these days. You've got access to a diversity of autofocus modes including fixed infinity focus and smile detection, several metering and scene modes, white balance control, a self-timer, and the list goes on. Heck, the phone even lets you change how big of a smile it ought to look for. But if it's got a weak spot, it's macro.
So Cyber-shot is one of Sony Ericsson's huge co-branding schemes, but what's further? Walkman, of course. As a music player, the X10 fares pretty excellently; from a hardware standpoint, both the jack position and the quality of the audio that the X10 produces are decent. Sony Ericsson stylishly placed the loudspeaker port on the side of the phone, not the bottom, so setting the phone down in any situation has no poor effect on volume or usability.
There's not much installed out of the box: a handful of productivity applications from Moxier, a MySpace client, Mobile Systems' OfficeSuite viewer for checking out (but not editing) Office documents, the Quadrapop game, TrackID, and turn-by-turn navigation from Wisepilot which includes a 30-day trial. The suite has built-in weather forecast that is pleasant.
Keyboard input -- a pretty vital topic, was amazingly a big trouble on the X10. First, you can't repeatedly use the back button to clear the text like you can on practically every other Android device we’ve used. Much, much more risky, though, is the fact that we're seeing all kind of missed inputs.
Wrapping up, the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 is a mobile phone that presents users the whole thing that currently want from a modern high end phone. The Xperia X10 comes with the nice looks which are enjoyable to the eye, which is important in a time that is image orientated; And is definitely well received by both the press and the customer.